Well, it's become clear—this "Internet" is here to stay. I was dubious for 11 or 12 years, but looks like this thing's got legs. The Alibi's long made the print version of our paper available online, along with our late-breaking, trend-making, controversy-stoking blogs. And now there's more. In addition to what you see in the paper, the Arts and Literature section will feature weekly online-exclusive content at alibi.com, such as:
• "I on Books" vlog: Two-minute reviews with a book snob, a giant chair, guest readers and sometimes prizes, new every Tuesday. The inaugural edition tore The Other Boleyn Girl a new hole. This week's vlog tells you what to think about Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo.
As a child, Paul Bogard spent summers with his family at a lake in Minnesota, surrounded by the still of nature and the sound of wind feathering through trees. He was surrounded also, he remembers, by stars he couldn't peel his eyes off of. It was during these marathon stargazing sessions that Bogard says he "learned about the night sky, learned about the importance of darkness." Without it, constellations grow so distant as to be mythical. They get lost.
Writing about death is a tricky business, especially when the format is memoir and the death is premature and robs the author of her own mother. Yet local writer and College of Santa Fe instructor Robin Romm deftly avoids the pratfalls of self-pity and sentimentality in her powerful new book The Mercy Papers. While subtitled “A Memoir of Three Weeks,” this particular death by cancer is protracted, agonizing, and up close and personal. This is the tale of a woman who does not go gently into that good night.
The story of Esther's Inheritance's English publication is as intriguing as the tale of guilt and ghosts that the novella tells. Author Sándor Márai was popular in his native Hungary, but his antifacist beliefs made him a target for the Communists who took over the country in 1945. They banned Márai's books and destroyed all copies, including 1939's Esther's Inheritance. The author fled in 1948 and ended up in America, where he lived in relative anonymity until he committed suicide in 1989. French translations of Marai's work surfaced in the mid-1990s, reintroducing Márai's writing to the world of publication.
The celebration preceding the Catholic ritual of 40 days of prayer and self-denial leading up to Christ's rise from the grave might be the most bitchin' thing about Christianity. While Lent represents the time Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by Satan, Carnival and Mardi Gras are geared toward indulgence in sin—exactly what Lent aims to avoid.